Instead of accepting the things I can't change. I will change things I can't accept
|Most of us know the premise of the serenity prayer: Accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. But that saying has never sat right with me. I always felt I had the power to change the things I could not accept-and so do you. Even after it seems like something is done and it it feels like you cannot change it, you can still express the way you feel about it, and you do not have to accept it. And often, there is an opportunity to still change it, or at least some aspect of it, depending on the circumstances.
I know I am not just sailing on the sea of life with an appointed captain at the wheel, I am the captain. Even though it seems like there is little control of one's life at times, especially now, that doesn't mean things can't changed or can't ever be changed. For example, the political and social climate in our country is very toxic and unfortunate. The bottom line is though, things have to be changed if we want to survive as a species and if we abuse the environment and not take care of other living things, we will suffer too. So there is no choice but to change the things we cannot accept or this world will not be fit to live in. On a smaller scale, this also applies to our individual lives. If you take stock of your relationships, how much control do you have? The truth is, you don't have to accept things and situations that are to your detriment. And you don't have to have a life that only pleases others and doesn't please yourself. It sounds simple but how many times have we done or said something because it was expected or it would please someone else?
One powerful way you can make changes in your life (and change the things you cannot accept) is to make changes in your well-being and attitude. I used to believe that when I got sick there was really nothing I could do to make myself feel better except to take medicine. But later, I found that some of the health issues that had been plaguing me could be improved by changes in my diet and the way I perceived things. I found that if I looked and looked and never gave up, I could find solutions to things or at least find ways to improve the situation. And it could make you more aware of opportunities that would help you get what you need or want. One such example I can think of a time when I was a young adult and badly wanted to move out of my parents' house. At the time I was going to college part time and was looking for a job. I also had no car of my own. I needed my independence but no real opportunity to get it. I found out my sister and her husband were moving to Atlanta ( a couple thousand miles away) so he could go to seminary school. After they moved there my parents went to visit them and I went with them. I made a plan that I would stay with them for a little while after my parents went back home and try to find a job there. Eventually I wore out my welcome and it looked like I still had no job prospects after a few weeks of being there. But suddenly I did get offered a job. My life has taken many twists and turns since that time over 30 years ago. But I was determined to use whatever opportunity presented itself to strike out on my own and it worked. I've also been able to get things accomplished for my kids (who are both special needs) that seemed extremely difficult or impossible to make happen. Often people actually were putting obstacles in my way of getting things they needed, but I didn't let it stop me because I knew it had to be done.
So, do not accept the things you cannot change. Change the things you cannot accept. Look out for ways to make that happen and keep trying. Sign petitions for causes you believe in for things you want changed. Make small changes in your life which lead to bigger changes. Make miracles happen.